Covid-19: Govt sets SOP for building of temporary on-site quarters for construction workers

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 15): The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) has prepared a standard operating procedure (SOP) for construction firms applying to build temporary on-site housing for their workers, following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Its Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said this was to support the enforcement of the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities (Amendment) Act 2019 (Act 446), which is expected to curb the spread of disease, in line with the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Recommendation 115 (Workers Housing Recommendation, 1961).

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, several cases of construction site clusters were detected, showing that construction site workers, especially foreign nationals, are at risk of infection.

“The risk of infection is becoming more serious due to the overcrowded accommodation in a single residential unit, in addition to the low level of cleanliness of the premises,” she said in a statement today.

According to Zuraida, this SOP explains clearly the existing legal provisions contained in the Town and Country Planning Act (Act 172), Street, Drainage and Building Act (Act 133) and Uniform Building By-Laws 1984 (UKBS 1984)

“In a bid to improve efficiency and effectiveness, several improvements are outlined in the procedure, among them is the provision of uniform flow charts and streamlined document checklists, as well as the application for special permission to start building work simultaneously with the temporary permit.

“Also outlined is the preparation of fire safety compliance checklist before submission of the application to the local authority, exemption from being referred to the fire and rescue department for comments, as well as reducing the duration of the Temporary Permit approval process from 33 days to 10 days,” she said.

Zuraida also reminded developers and all relevant professionals of the need to be more competent in complying with the requirements of legal and regulatory provisions in accordance with the SOP provided, so that the main goal of curbing the spread of Covid-19, especially at construction sites, could be achieved.

Source: TheEdgeMarkets